The sample-- recruited from Chicago charter schools-- is probably not representative.
This study abstract made me cringe. Formatted for easier reading.
Nonpregnant African-American females aged 14–17 years attending one of three charter schools on Chicago's South Side were recruited and surveyed regarding parental relationship quality, attitudes toward sexual health, and communication about sexual health. We calculated odds ratios (ORs) for ever discussing abortion using multivariable logistic regression.
Of the 265 adolescents, 43.0% had ever discussed abortion with a parent.
[Perhaps we should be encouraging parents to talk to their kids about abortion. The more kids know, the better!]
While 72.3% would voluntarily tell a parent about an abortion plan, 19.2% feared a parent would physically hurt her, punish her, or evict her.
[Definitely something we should discourage! ]
Ever communicating about abortion was significantly associated with
* having a mother who had a teen pregnancy (OR, 1.99; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05–3.78);
* having a prochoice abortion attitude (OR, 3.27; 95% CI, 1.29–8.25);
* having discussed sexually transmitted infections (OR, 2.97; 95% CI, 1.13–7.77) or birth control (OR, 2.96; 95% CI, 1.35–6.47) with a parent;
* and perceived parental approval of adolescent sexual activity (OR, 3.07; 95% CI, 1.20–7.88).
Ever communicating about abortion was inversely related to
* being sexually experienced (OR, .48; 95% CI, .23–.99) or
* anticipating supportive parental reactions to an abortion decision (OR, .31; 95% CI, .13–.75).
[In other words, the more sexually experienced the daughter, the less likely they are to talk about abortion!]
Although almost half of our sample was sexually active, the majority had never talked to their parents about abortion. Some reported fears of harm should the situation arise. Public policy should focus on promoting parent–daughter communication before an unwanted pregnancy rather than forcing communication after it occurs.
We should definitely encourage mother-daughter communication.
The Black community is somewhat pro-life, but black women have a disproportionate number of abortions.
This might shed some light as to why that is.
If mothers are not talking about abortion-- especially if pro-life moms are not talking to their kids about abortion-- if children fear their parents' reaction, then of course abortion seems like the obvious choice.
I don't want to make too much about this study-- it's one study, and I'm not sure charter school students are representative of the general population in America.
But this was something of an eye opener for me.